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ACT Party needs a refresher course on NZ Public Health laws

ACT Party needs a refresher course on NZ Public Health legislation

Hāpai Te Hauora is disappointed at the ignorance shown by the ACT Leader and MP for Epsom David Seymour as reported in today’s Otago Daily Times regarding his rationale for selling single cigarettes to customers.

Hāpai Te Hauora CEO, Lance Norman is astonished with the party leader's view. "Selling single cigarettes is illegal under the Smoke-free Environments Act. In effect, David Seymour is encouraging people to break the law. It’s pretty bizarre, not to mention irresponsible." Seymour’s statement was prompted from a post on social media (by an anonymous source) endorsing both the sale of single cigarettes for those lower income families who struggle to pay for a packet at a time, and the misguided view that the sale of single cigarettes could resolve the increasing problem of dairy thefts linked to tobacco products.

Mihi Blair, General Manager of National Tobacco Control Advocacy Service is critical of these statements saying "This anonymous person’s position is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve as a nation and effectively promotes further harm in our communities, while solving nothing. The Smokefree 2025 goal will only be achieved with the political courage around the implementation of supply reduction strategies and targeted stop smoking support services, as well as effective alternatives to tobacco use such as vaping. It will not be achieved by making cigarettes more readily available in our communities again."

The sale of single cigarettes will contribute to the uptake of a deadly product of whānau which is killing 5,000 members of our community of New Zealand annually.

Further information regarding the sale of single cigarettes:

- Selling singles at $1-$2 each makes cigarettes affordable and therefore more accessible for whānau

- Purchasing single cigarettes may be a gateway to further addiction

- Lack of regulation means that unbranded cigarettes may be sold, with no way for purchasers to know what ingredients they contain

- There are no ID checks for purchase, as it is an illegal activity, making it easier for rangatahi to purchase

Here are links to previous investigations undertaken by the Tupeka Kore Action Group supported by Hāpai Te Hauora around single cigarette sales in dairies




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